Shazad Yasin recently completed an apprenticeship, here with City College Peterborough, in business administration. We asked him a few questions about his experience as an apprentice:

Hi Shazad, thank you for speaking to us about your apprenticeship journey. Could you start by telling us what motivated you to start looking for an apprenticeship in Peterborough?

It all started when I completed an eight-week work experience placement in administration and customer service at a local organisation. In the placement I was working to provide admin support, whilst also helping customers use computers. I had to put into action communication, IT and organisational skills.

Having completed the placement, I knew that I wanted to do something similar as a career but needed to build up my qualifications and experience. I was really eager to start an apprenticeship, as I knew I would be able to earn as I learnt.

So, what were you doing before your work experience placement?

I was in education before I started my apprenticeship and throughout my eight-week placement. However, I realised that college alone wasn’t for me. I learn as I do and I knew an apprenticeship would allow me to do just that.

I continued with sixth form college to gain my full qualifications with my eyes firmly set on going into an apprenticeship straight after I had finished.

How did you find out about the business administration apprenticeship in Peterborough and at the College?

I knew that City College Peterborough offered a range of apprenticeships, so I called in and spoke to one of their recruitment officers – Wendy Andrews.

She helped me to rework my CV to help me apply successfully for business and admin apprenticeships. Her advice was invaluable. I went for a few of interviews, with the third, successful, one being at the College itself offering admin and business support at the John Mansfield Centre.

Great! So you started on the business administration apprenticeship at the College – how did you find it?

An apprenticeship is a great way to continue with your education whilst earning money. It was great to know I was gaining qualifications all whilst getting paid. It boosts your independence and gives you the opportunity to grow within a company.

Earning whilst learning is definitely a benefit then, but how did you find studying whilst working?

The balance between coursework and employment is really manageable. Studying with City College Peterborough was great too. My tutors, Margaret Packer and Angela Woodley, were very supportive. I couldn’t have achieved my English and Maths qualifications without their guidance.

Can you tell us exactly what qualifications you’ve now achieved, having completed your apprenticeship?

Sure – I’m proud to say I’ve gained Functional Skills, Level 1, in English, Maths and ICT and I’ve also completed my Level 2 Diploma in Business Adminstration.

With those qualifications now ticked off, if you could pick a highlight from your apprenticeship journey what would it be?

I’ve got to say it’s the support I received from my assessor, Coralie Cooke, and the knowledge and experience I have taken from the programme into my new job.

Great news to hear you have a job! Can you tell us more about that?

I am now customer administrator at City College Peterborough. The College nurtured me throughout my apprenticeship and it’s great to be continuing my career with them.

I’m a member of the busy marketing team helping them with day-to-day jobs and also meeting and greeting as a customer assistant.

To round off, if you could offer one bit of advice to people thinking of starting an apprenticeship what would it be?

Do it! Apprenticeships are a great way to progress your career, earn money and work towards a recognised qualification.